Parrots love fruits, that much is clear. Today I got curious about whether conures being a group of small parrots can eat oranges given that oranges have some acidity. During my free time I dug deeper into the topic here is what learnt.
So, can conures eat oranges? Conures can eat oranges including the orange seeds and peel like all parrots. However, due to the high sugar and water content of oranges, you should feed oranges to conures sparingly. Oranges are packed with vitamin A, C, beta carotene, minerals, and antioxidants that are important to the health of the conures. Oranges should be a part of your conures’ balanced diet, not the exclusive diet.
As a rule of thumb, fruits and vegetables should make up 20-25% of your pet conures daily diet. The highest percentage of conures’ daily diet about 75% should be composed of commercially made high-quality pellets.
If you want to feed oranges to wild conures, you can just through an orange in the back yard or place a sliced orange in your conures bird feeder. Either way whether domesticated on wild conures will enjoy a piece of an orange.
Avoid feeding an all seed diet to your conures to avoid nutrient deficiencies. Conures are highly vulnerble to calcium, vitamin deficiencies A and obesity.
However, a well balanced diet of pellets and fruits and vegetables should help keep them healthy and flourishing.
Are oranges healthy to conures?
The table below shows the nutrition profile of 17 g oranges source
|Of which sugars||(1.59 g)|
|Vitamin C||9.04 mg|
|Vitamin A||1.87 µg|
Benefits of feeding oranges to conures
Vitamins form a very important part of a conures nutritional requirement. Given that conures are vulnerable to vitamin A deficiency you should always ensure that they get high-quality pellets plus fruits and vegetables that are known to have enough vitamin A and its precursor beta carotene.
In the wild conures have access to various fruits and vegetables that help with replenishing their vitamins capacity in the body and rarely will they suffer from deficiencies.
However, in captive, it is up to the owner to provide their conures with the much needed vitamins.
Oranges are a good source of vitamins such as Vitamin A, and C. Lets take a deep look into how these vitamins helps the body of conures.
Vitamin A deficiency is one of the most diagnosed problems among pet birds, especially ones that are fed an all-seed diet.
Seeds have a poor vitamin concentration and are generally filled with fats, given that conures are prone to obesity just like cockatiels you should avoid feeding an all seed diet.
The importance of vitamin A in conures includes: Improves the immune system, protects respiration and digestive tract infections, maintains the health of the eye, and promoting reproduction system.
Beta carotene a precursor of vitamin A plays a very important role in replenishing vitamin A without leading into an over supply of vitamin A in the body of conures which can be dangeroues.
The body of conures will only convert beta carotene into vitamin A only into the amount needed by the body and get rid of the excess beta carotene.
As a result, it is normally recommended to feed fruits high in beta carotene when looking to replenish vitamin A supply.
Beta carotene can also help with making the colors of your conures look more vibrant.
Vitamin C on the other hand which is abundantly found in oranges is crucial in the health of conures.
While most wild birds do not have a direct need for vitamin C, crimson sun-conure together with Red-vented bulbul and willow ptarmigan/red grouse are ranked among the birds that need vitamin C in their diet.
Most birds can process vitamin C in their liver using glucose, unless a bird is suffering from a liver disease they will rarely need vitamin C unless they fall into the category stated above.
Deficiency of vitamin C will lead to poor wound healing, scurvy and bone weakness. Vitamin C also boost the absorption of iron in the gut.
But its intake should be limited for the mynah and toucan families or the softbills birds, these birds can easily suffer from liver damage when there is an excess absorption of vitamin C.
Fortunately, these birds are rarely kept as pets, In the wild, they can regulate their intake of vitamins at will as compared to captivity.
Especially given that most pet bird owners do not have adequate information on the upkeep and nutritional requirement of their birds.
Like vitamins minerals forms a very important part of the birds nutritional requirement for healthy growth and development.
Some minerls are more important than others, as they are needed in much more capacity.
The two most important minerals in birds are phosphorous and calcium, because they are used in the making of the skeletal structure among other functions.
That does not mean that the other minerals are not important, they are equally vital to the survival of birds.
Though not an excellent source of calcium, oranges provide some calcium to conures. Calcium is very important for conures babies and juveniles or injured and laying conures.
For injured conures and laying conures the calcium in take should be high to promote healing and in the formation of egg shells respectively.
A conure offered a high-quality pellet diet will not need supplementation, since these pellets are made with these needs in mind.
Conures fed an all-seed diet are most likely to suffer from calcium deficiencies since seeds lack calcium and have phytates that prevent absorption of calcium.
This normally severe in African Grey parrots that are fed an all-seed diet, given that these birds need a lot of calcium in their diet.
Oxidative stress can lead to a weakened immune system and poor reproduction, however, fruits and vegetables such as oranges have antioxidants such as selenium and vitamin C that helps with reversing the effects of oxidative stress.
Antioxidants will help promote the immune system and promote healthy reproduction.
Captive conures should have a continuous supply of clean and fresh water on a daily basis in their cages or aviary. Wild conures can easily get water from natural sources.
Fruits and vegetables are loaded with water that can help with keeping captive or pet conures hydrated. They, however, should not serve as a replacement for a bowl of clean and fresh water in a conure cage.
Can conures eat orange seeds and peels?
Orange peels and seeds are also safe to feed to the conures, orange peels are also loaded with nutrients just like the inside of the oranges.
To avoid poisoning conures make sure you wash the orange thoroughly.
How to feed oranges to conures
The best type of orange is one that has been grown organically free from chemicals. Since it can be hard to tell how an orange was grown especially if you are buying it from local supermarket or grocery store always wash them thoroughly.
You do not need to feed the whole orange to the conures, just a small piece will go a long way. Mix oranges with other fruits such as bananas, grapes, apples, pineapples, raisins, and so on to make a balanced diet.
At the end of the day remember to remove any uneaten fruits or vegetables to avoid contamination.
Can green cheeked conures eat oranges?
Like all conures, the green cheeked can also eat oranges and will benefit from the vitamins and minerals that oranges have to offer. Just remember to feed oranges sparingly by mixing them with other fruits.
Can conures eat citrus fruit?
Conures can eat all other citrus fruits apart from oranges, they will benefit from the vitamins, minerals, and water that come with citrus fruits. Conures can safely eat the citrus fruit peels and seeds, be sure to thoroughly clean the citrus fruit peels before feeding conures.
Oranges are a healthy fruit to feed to conures be it in the wild or as a pet. They can eat both the peel and the seeds of oranges. Wash oranges thoroughly before feeding oranges to conures to get rid of any potential harmful pesticides or toxins.
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